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Most US toy purchases planned last year: NPD

It looks like toy purchasers know what they're looking for before they go out to get it. According to the latest data from The NPD Group's Toy Purchase Decisions report, seven out of 10 toy purchases were planned well in advance.
August 28, 2009

It looks like toy purchasers know what they’re looking for before they go out to get it. According to the latest data from The NPD Group’s Toy Purchase Decisions report, seven out of 10 toy purchases were planned well in advance.

More than 75% of consumers who made planned toy purchasers knew where they wanted to shop. And though 90% of the retailer-driven shoppers did indeed buy where they’d originally planned, just over 40% said they’d look for the same product in a different store if it wasn’t available in the first location.

Almost two-thirds of unplanned purchases were influenced by an item-related factor, particularly if the child requested the specific item. Other competing factors include attractive packaging and product display. Price point also plays a big role in making unplanned purchases, since NPD found that the two categories with the most unplanned purchases also have the lowest average retail prices.

As for toy shoppers’ preferences, convenient store location and pricing are the most influential factors in choosing a retailer. That’s followed by assortment and selection, and the study found that almost three-quarters of these purchasers prefer one-stop shopping like mass markets over visiting specialty stores. Meanwhile, 78% say they prefer to buy in stores versus online so they can see products before purchase.

And once they get in the store, price is still a key factor in choosing a retailer and specific toy, since 70% of buyers say they typically have a price in mind and look for product that meets that criteria.

There’s a slightly different set of drivers for those who consider more than one toy during the purchase occasion. Then, price or value is not the primary driver, but whether or not product information was clearly included on the packaging. So when consumers are comparing several products, they turn to product packaging to make the final purchase decision.

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